Friday, 30 December 2011

Christmas climb, mistletoe and wine (‘cliff richard)

M62 has lights all the way until Hull where they dissappear, the road becomes the A63 and repent! signs appear with a backing of accordian music. I was home for christmas. We had planned to climb on christmas eve but everyone seemed burnt out from the working week ending with a massive meal on the friday (a fish pie, 3 portions). It was crumby weather anyway so I sat out christmas eve struggling to figure out Sony Vegas 10, I know it has the potential for great things but at this early stage I am leaning towards my old Premier Elements 7 as it fulfills my editing needs with user-friendly ease. One thing in favour of Sony Vegas is that it renders like a demon and I think I have my settings on lock down now, still room for tweeking. Short term goal by the end of 2011 is to learn how the fuck keyframes work without silly flying text like in the video below (defence: Steve did it).

Alex Mason, Hull’s 6th/5th best climber, sent me an excited text early that evening explaining that his grandad had kitted his van out and did I want to spend the night of christmas day in it with him and Scoobie his terrier. I was already keen before he mentioned staying at Ilkley so this just sealed the deal. After christmas dinner (standard, 2 portions, 1 cheesecake) we headed out. Ilkey moor was dark ,mild, very wet and our intended session on ‘Ringpiece’ did not look promising - it looked like a log of turd attached to a block of algae. It was a comfortable nights sleep for two below average sized males + dog in Mason’s little van, the carpeted capsule, good cubby holes and wayyyyyy cheaper than a T4 etc. I’m psyched for my own but just need to drive first, slight niggle.  

In the morning Ilkley was still grim but drying, however the wet had set in deep and ultimately Ringpiece was fucked, we left after climbing a beautifully chipped V4. Caley was green and soggy as went passed so we drove on to Almscliff, perma-sweet. Almscliff was blowing like a french hooker in a hoolie and mother nature got some note worthy takedowns on me, meeting the other Hull lads we went over to the roof while Alex set camp on Underhand. We had a team re-send of Dolphin Belly Slap, a technical gem and then moved onto Demon Wall Roof. Noaks managed to finnally end his efforts on this and got it done 3rd go whilst Billy and I failed in the usual spot (left hand on crimp rail, hand on undercut bringing inside right foot to flake). I thought I might have been too stretched out for it and had the height/flexibility excuses prepared, but prior to our burns Ben Bransby climbed it with the undercut method, so I have no height excuse. I need to to get full crimped on left hand not just hang it and also not wear rock star 501’s (kind of an excuse), as soon as the right foot takes weight on the flake its on as I feel good on the crimps to the break where the difficulties end. 

Venturing down to the Virgin boulder I reclimbed the boulder start to the gypsy with a close spot, this felt quite nervy as last time I went on this a year ago I slipped from the undercuts with the heel lock in and swung upside down listening to my ankle make some horrid cracking noises (blurghhhh), no such dramatics today. The day ended with a team faliure on Syrett’s roof (tired) apart from Mason who also did tea spoon variation which looked shit to me but I had forgot the crazy heel over your hands beta which makes it classic. Over all it was a good day but the wind was particulary brutal and  the temperature mild to the point of warm so the rock didn’t feel in a good way at all. That said, checking my logbook I hadn’t been out since the start of December so I really was rather happy to be out rock climbing again.

Got back home to Sheffield, and it does feel like home now, to find an obviously pinched christmas tree in our living room decorated with rock shoes, crabs and a tin foil star. It is good to be back. 

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Bad skin days

Structurally my fingers have never really let me down, they are getting stronger and progress has been good but the fleshy glove that covers the mechanics has always been a major gripe of mine. I have always had naturally sweaty hands; nothing too dramatic in normal life but in climbing it definitely holds me back and I have gained a fairly deserved reputation for my hands ripping off holds in all manor of cringe-inducing ways (a personal best being the crimp on razor roof, see previous blog and bloody knuckles). The other issue is that my skin has been getting calloused like a rookie and cold weather seems to create sharper edges on these due to a lack of blood in the hand, these then crack creating a little crevasse of hate I attack with re-active sanding. Both these poinst can be addressed easily with anti-hydral and pro-active sanding. Im unsure with anti-hydral because people who don’t have a major problem seem to use it and fuck their tips by being over eager, does anyone else have experience of it's use? (That’s if anyone else reads this blog other than me).

with the top rope practise over it was time for the headpoint

The weather has been well and truly wack the past few weeks, this coupled with work and parties meant little has been done. Went to the Roaches with James and Jo last Sunday, I finally did the outstanding stretch ‘n’ mantel, submitting to a double handed pop from undercutting the break rather than a stretch in the end. These dynamics felt memorable, controlled and I think it’s a better method as it simply has more steez than fumbling around for nothing positive at full stretch facing a gritstone goatee if your foot pops. We milled around here for a bit while Jo clocked pad time on teck crack direct and James went upside down ticking the funky ‘Thud’, a problem with a problem start is more ways than one (the sufficiently nerdy will get this). There was notable tick for James here as he flashed Inertia Reel, which requires a typically Dawsian approach in order to tick and so it’s quite a cookie to snaffle first go. We headed over to the Tetris bloc, climbing Joe’s arête on the way, an over polished low grade beauty, so quite like Tina off Corrie. At the Tetris bloc, there was a Polish crew on the title problem; by hanging back and watching Jimmy gave a valiant flash attempt getting left hand on the crimp and going for the jug sidepull but sliding off with the high heel, some foot knowledge was found and the problem sent packing around 20 minutes later. I failed on Trust again; it wasn’t so much about trusting the smears as trying to engage them as when you pull onto the slab - using one of the best sequences at the roaches - your body position makes it feel like you are front pointing crystals. Ahhh back again then, oh what a shame. NOT. James flashed it (he didn’t flash Nadin’s traverse though, this is a bitter word-punch to the kidneys on the Noble so I hope he never reads this as I will in turn receive a physical one).


Steve has been selling/not selling Christmas Trees in exodus back home in Beverley, poor Steve/Boycee. I cannot wait for December to end, what an expensive short day month.


Inertia Reel Traverse

Monday, 12 December 2011

a dip in the font

In early October this year I Went to the Fontainebleau forest for the first time with
Tom, Liz and Mikey. We stayed at ‘The House’ in Tousson owned by
the English climbers Ru and Andy. We caught the ferry from my old hometown of Hull and sailed overnight to a very boring part of the
world, drove in the rain through the centre of Paris which was a rookie error (exits on both
sides???). The weather in Font as we arrived was warm, pretty damn warm,
pulling into Tousson around midday we had an afternoon of climbing ahead and
headed to nearby Roche Aux Sabots. As we arrived in the crag car-park I
couldn’t see the boulders yet but I could see the trees around and how
very flat this place was. Walking up the path I could see boulders on the
right, then some more, some more and then a fuck load, I was shocked as my only
other experience of a boulder field was Burbage south. Regardless of climbing
the shapes of these boulders are fantastic, they must have been sculptured to a
design set by a clued up municipal council board, they must have (cemetery
boulder didn’t look so unrealistic now)

The main area looked busy so being the shy
English types we slinked off to the wings. The first problem was something like
4a or lower and nowordofalie it was the best problem I had ever done up to that
point in my life, perfect sandstone jug sidepull - smear out left – bossy
sloper – top – magic. The next problem was 4b and it had my
trousers down, ‘oh no’ I thought ‘so it begins’, I’d
been told and read that I would get spanked but I didn’t realise it was
going to happen on 3s and 4s, there were some 5c slabs I couldn’t even
start. Humbling.

The next day it rained in the morning so
we headed where the sky looked less dense and ended up in some forest near
milly-la-foret looking at wet boulders, the rain and falling leaves made it
feel like a scene from cult ‘nam film hamburger hill, so obviously I was interested.
From here we screwed on heads straight and went to 95.2. That is to say we went
after a mahassive walking session down the rural autobahns interspliced with
more rain and a general group sense of disillusionment as we looked down the
barrel of a potentially washed out trip. Complete melodrama based upon past
experiences as it stopped raining pretty quickly, faith was then restored after
Tom threw a wobbler and stormed off with the guide capturing hill 95.2.
Following the red circuit round here it felt that climbing on fingery limestone
and small feet back home was better practise for font than any gritstone. This
was due in part to our habit of orbiting around slabs that gave off the false
impression of ease but were in fact hard, very hard, a lot of the slabs have
tiny egg shell edges that are similar to that dyno problem on the Eagle stone
at Baslow, which is hard.

On the way back from 95.2 we went back to
sabots as I really wanted to try Graviton, which is known to be a quality easy
7a. Those who know me will testify to my lack of flexibility so it was bizarre choice
for me as the beta for the hard of strong is a mental mantel using a big heel level
with your head. You run your hands up a baguette type flake and latch a
beautiful sloper pinch, Pete Whitty your right foot onto the slab above your
head and mantel it out so your right fidgets onto a moyenne crimp which by
crimping the bejesus out of brings you flailing onto the top. Spiceworld. Riding
the wave of success we went to try cul di chien which we then failed on, I couldn’t
get my foot on the piton or flex it to the top of the flake (gutted) I wont be
going back until I can touch my toes or im strong enough to do Eclipse,
whichever comes first.

Waking up on our second to last day I could
see clear blue skies and with an exciting chill in the air we headed to Istasis.
Starting with the steeper faces we climbed reds on the broken ivory panels that
adorned most of the boulders here, it felt good to be pulling with my fingers
rather pushing with my big toes. Walked up to l’angle bens but an aggressive
looking dog and 3 Spaniards camped out put me off being the socialite I am. I can’t
remember which day it was but one time from the same parking we went to Cusinierre;
this was my favourite setting as the boulders were spread about on an idyllic hillside
browned with nature’s needles surrounded by high waving trees. Tried and
failed on a few things here in amongst the reds and blue victories, but all the
while I was overawed by the giant hanging arête of misericorde (7c+), this was
the most impressive problem I saw in Font this trip and I will do this, so help
me Goddo I will do this one day!

The last day was a Saturday and we had
been warned against Bas Cuvier but I wanted to go, even after capitulating and
heading to Buthiers I still got my own way and we pulled into the grotty cuvier
lay-by a bit late on in the day. Buthiers had been a bit too high for the group
- there are some seriously impressive boulders there which would have enough Es
on them to give kids migraines if they were in the peak. I can’t wait to
get back as Attention Chef d’ouvre is face climbing at a great height and
when im not shit I can fail on the certified off the chain arête of Partage. Anyway,
Bas Cuvier on a Saturday is pretty grim, there are used condoms in between
boulders and millions of people of all nationalities, from quiet to shouty. I still
like it though as again the boulders were mental looking. If you’re a bee
at the honey pot you better get stuck in and this particular bee prides himself
on being able to fall well so I headed straight to the carnage bloc and tried helicopter.
As this bloc has partial tree cover and It was slightly drizzly the whole world
was there which is good for pads (it was like a hippy commune) but bad for
psyche (I’m a climber, get me out of here). When it’s this busy I feel
a flashback to being at the skatepark as a kid, waiting your turn to drop in
and land your trick or slink away having bailed and avoiding the next skater. So
it was here, I had pathetic attempts on helicopter dodging people on Berezina,
carnage and l’abbatoir, with a particularly annoying pissant Parisian lad
who would fail on carnage assis on the assis part then make a grunting noise
and storm off in a passionate rage.

This was just a recce

Monday, 28 November 2011

Burt Backoncrack

It’s been quite some time since my last post, nothing much has happened in the meantime. Climbing wise I haven’t been making any giant leaps but there has been a steady improvement, I feel stronger in the pipes than before and i'm finally using my heels a lot better. This is due mainly in part to climbing with Jo and James, Sheffield’s most psyched couple. Joble are dark horses, watch this space. Its good to have a critique and it was soon made clear I was letting myself down by inefficient footwork and just plain avoiding working on shoulders/biceps, it quickly became apparent I can’t even hold a one arm lock whilst trying to finish Punker Buster in Tom’s cave and falling off the jug on little extra direct repeatedly.

The seasons are not very obvious these days but when it was hot we went to the tor and now its turning cold…. we go to the tor. The lucky thing is I love the tor, a case of Stockholm syndrome possibly. To mix it up we have made visits to Conies Dale a recently discovered craglet. I have come to realise over my years of climbing that I am a bit of a fascist when it comes to rock, and as rock goes Conies Dale looked set for Treblinka. Limestone Spanish brickwork is the best way I can describe it - It looked like a little cow dale. I wasn’t impressed and it didn’t help that it was condensing like a murfucker. Nevertheless the one dry line we found, a 7a over on the left near the dry stone wall, is excellent and now has the lofty position of possessing Guy’s favourite limestone hold - a perfect fingery pinch. The other lines look similarly righteous but were wet so I am excited to return next year, rock movement rules at the end of the day and holding the swinggggg was nice, real nice.

I also went to Fontainebleau for the first time in early October and yes I have to admit, it’s the best place I’ve climbed but rather surreal; more on that in a separate post to come.

idiot at home

Grit climbing has been limited due to unreasonable seasonal temperatures and god awful weather. Plantation trips have been thwarted by overly keen sunshine making crescent arête feel like a heroic endeavour and my first trip to Stanton Moor resulted in a great sleep on the mats under Brad’s rib, then a tourist trip to Spare rib (what an amazing feature). I felt guilty at Rowtor on Sunday as the slightest hint of damp makes some parts crumble away with ease, luckily I had poisoned myself with Weedkiller traverse earlier in the day so I couldn’t pull on anything save for ‘The Line’ (jump start), a soft 7a mantle. Limestone progression has been more evident and even though the ticks are not coming the process is becoming much more enjoyable, I think I am learning to redpoint through bouldering. I couldn’t even start Basher’s problem early in the summer and through working undercuts it’s now piss the left hand way up to the last move which felt wild going with the right hand but obviously ended the best way for me. I’ve never had projects but now I have long, short and mid term goals at the tor.

didn't fake this one like the almscliffe shots

My short term is Weedkiller traverse which I now have in overlapping halves. I like the length of this problem and for someone with a memory as damaged /savaged as mine it’s a real struggle remembering what to do! I will climb this, and in the updated guide it is now 7b - cashback.

My mid term goals are a number of links, Weedkiller into bashers, perverse traverse and perverse into bashers right hand.

The long term goal is Powerband. Up to the first of the pinches is steady for me and is bad ass feeling strong on open pockets, from there it quickly feels impossible and the strengths need to finish this are invaluable to climbing, the noble lock and the honest core. I do however have apprehensions about the infamous last move, I can’t hold it or move from it in isolation at my current level of ability. Watching Steve and James on Powerhumps & Staminahumps respectively has inspired me for the L type links as well.

Joble on the tor thinking stone

So to round off a wandering useless filler post, Im moving into the house that crush built soon with Alisha and feel it will bring a stronger focus to my climbing much needed structured approach to training/execution, as well as a double bed which I didn’t think I would miss but I have. Also, whilst getting mangled is still highly enjoyable, realisation has dawned that once a month is more than enough to satisfy and I feel better on the whole because of this, getting on at 25 now (although it’s the works party and an STI party this month, its Christmas time).

Here is a run off of current bangers I have been enjoying and watching.

Ahh dubstep and the xx are completely played out but much like pasta bake I keep coming back for more. I am a fatty chubby year 8 bully victim.

staminaband attempt from Guy Van Greuning on Vimeo.


Tuesday, 24 May 2011

going off like the gza

Like my old pet hamster this blog is showing no signs of life. I'm going to put this trip on hold until my computer is fixed and I've moved house. It's cool to read but its cooler to see so id like this to be a vent for media Ive made/taken.

Limestone season means less ticks but stronger fingers, all is good.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Do we get one summer?

what have I been doing?

I had big plans for the bank holiday weekends that have just past us, positives and negatives from both.

Started off with a planned trip to North Wales with Ramsden, our intended destination was Clogwyn D'ur Arddu i.e. CLOGGY!!!!!!!!! After a long and tired drive from Sheffield we arrived (1am) at our 5-star hotel bedroom (nant peris carpark) The floor didnt feel so bad and the stars were really impressive to see. 

room with a view

We were going to bivy up on cloggy for the night so had a lot of stuff to take, with steve not down with all this light mountain gear and me being skint it was a heavy load, as you can see

After a barbaric slog half way up the tourist path to snowdon we broke away from the fighting famlies/adventurous first dates and got to Cloggy, one of the most impressive sights of my little climbing life.
We set off up troach an E2 5b taking the impressive face right of the more impressive Indian Face. The first VS pitch felt hard and the climbing unfamiliar, I wanted the main pitch but after a false start handed the ropes to Steve as I was in over my head and I knew it, following Steve up I was glad I made the choice I did = I was knackered and went off route. I finished up the arete into the sun and we basked for a bit before abbing into the cold cold gully that housed the axe and shrike etc. Rammers climbed the Axe, intimidating and inspiring to the same degree, a long pitch that he comfortably lead even sitting down at one point. I didnt second, I have aspirations that include that stonker. After getting drunk on one beer we went to bed on the grassy meadow and woke up 12 hours later. The day after we climbed white slab, steve taking the crux and I the long 5a pitches. Felt great to be leading big routes again and felt confident route reading/handling dodgy rock.

Yesterday I went to a baking hot millstone on the bus and did nothing, saw some Italians climb Edge lane/White wall/Londow Wall while I failed on both techincal master and conan the librarian, they are definetly font 8b. Today I went to a baking hot bank holiday Stanage and did a cool HVS then failed on another. Time for sport and big trad.

Monday, 11 April 2011

I fear the string

Rivelin, tonight. After an extended weekend of top roping at cheedale and in the moors, I was really shattered. Faced monumental mental struggles at two-tier with leading, I felt like this last year when moving onto different rock types after a winter of bouldering and straight balling. some of this fall training malarkey is on the cards I believe, I am good at jumping no good at falling. 

Anyway, after a false start due to knackerdness we went to rivelin. Tried 'I'm Back' a thin E4 wall behind the pinancle, had a few concerted efforts doing some knarly direct crimpin' but the 'real' sequence is further right leading you into a commiting rock over above a non-bouldering drop so I'll be back when its a little cooler. Tied on and did 'Fringe Benefit' on the brush off slab. It's got a great crux, I had no small wires so it was an exciting solo to the gear/jugs. I wandered a bit right at the top, a shame, so a repeat in colder times isn't off the cards. As the light faded I bouldered out the start to 'Easy Pickings', a savage E2 with a F6b+ start on lovely small holds and the right level of sophisticated burl. I dropped off at the jug flake, but not after eyeing up the perfectly protected route crux, fun!

Steve on 'Blizzard Ridge'

...and just to prove how shit I am at falling with a rope on, check this!

lime time!

Thursday, 31 March 2011

The anticlimatic slaying of a nemesis: Rivelin

walk to work in the rain, it dries perfectly. Bus to town, bus home. Nothing of note today (yesterday I saw a lorry get trapped under a railway bridge)

Waited for the Citroen bullet to make an appearance and drove off to Rivelin seeking shelter from a windy South Yorkshire. after several unintentional fly-pasts we parked up and lugged the pads up into the birch forest. I carried Steve's second prototype pad, a large taco with a sweet shag-carpet feature, its the size of a house but as light as a mouse.

The sun went in and we climbed about warming up on the great quarried faces behind the pinnacle. Having not been for a long time I showed Steve Acid Rain, the high(ish) V5 arête . From a few posts back you can see I spent an entire session on this one problem, it was warm sure but the amount of times my right foot popped wasn't funny (and I laugh at faliure, trust). This time I had one go with old method and guess what? fell off. Steve then got on, I gave him the numbers up to my high-point and he hustled the top finding a smaller crimp to lock down on comfortably reach the sloping ledge at the top. Flash.

I headed up to my glass ceiling, right foot smear, right hand pinched on arête and find the balance to bring the left foot high to a thin break. Calm down, get the the foot, and all the limbs in use, at the right percentage of weight distribution then drag your centre of gravity up with you to the nestle the crimp, lock, right foot higher smear and a little lunge for show.

Round to the wobbly wall area as Steve had intentions on Europe after Rain an old-money E4. The landing is quickly beccoming a slanted gully so we set the pads up in a sliding sequence akin to Total Wipeout. After a fall from the last holds Ramsden rock and rolled the moves and grabbed heather.

I did Wobbly wall which should be called knobbly wall because the holds are real nice.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011


Consolidation is the name of the game at the moment, with a sub-title of 'calm the fuck down Guy'

I worked on Saturday until 1pm and some kind chap gave me a lift into town from the bad side of Sheffield(I ain't judging) into town. Caught the castleton peasant wagon over to Bamford Edge and did the long slog up to the crag, thoroughly knackered and pissy by the time I got there. My first time up there and I liked it, it does feel wild with an amazing outlook from the great buttress end overlooking majestic ladybower reservoir (they sunk an entire village to make it and also practised the famous 'dambusters' raid there). Climbed a few bits and bobs waiting for a couple of 'teams' to finish on gargoyle flakes, went up and found it very fun if a little disjointed but really good and non-awkward like many grit VS climbs can be. Case in point being Wrinkled wall, awkward step-up, meant to do the crease but it felt greasy and my hands emit grease at the best of times. Ran home and went out on the night, fell asleep on the squat half-pipe and rode home pissed at 8am (I will stop riding drunk, I've heard nasty stories)

Sunday, team posh boys came over from Hull and we went to Harpur hill the limestone sport quarry, what a massive dump. However it has one of the most inspiring lines I've seen, Cairn. So Harpur Hill is a roundabout with a massive swing in the middle basically. Didn't even try cairn in the end, just topped it once and wilted, the nights excesses stripping me of any desire, I will go back, strangely. Oaks climbed it first redpoint after a sub-10minute practise. He went up it brilliantly and it was a pleasure to watch how good he is getting, I have a picture on my phone I'll put up later.

Monday night after work went to Curbar in the woods for some thrills, climbed some great overlooked gems  but a highlight being 'Black nix wall'. Didn't climb it very well, quite shaky and nervous with shallow breathing being a real problem but got up it and achieved a memorable memory falling into a jug as I looked down for my landing.

Steve then climbed camel ticks, looks great and committing. Will be back to this little bay to lead rat scabies, horrid name, wicked route.

Tonight, me and Rammers popped over to Stanage High Neb, got unreasonably scared and ticked the VS classic High Neb buttress. Moving on climbed a lovely vdiff up some twin cracks, cant for the life of me remember what it was called. Then went up 'fate' in the middle of the impressive-looking slab, good honest pockerteering with a low crux but very close to the cracks on either side and a tad artificial because of it. Went to look at No More Excuses, the striking bouldery E4 that looks tameable with mats and good senses. unfortunately the run of good weather started to end as we climbed around this area and an attempt would have been a waste of time for either of us, especially Steve as I burnt him off on 'Pig's Ear', a rare-joy.

High Neb is a wonderful area, buttress after buttress of solid gold hits, get there before the midges arrive and mess you up.

see you.

Monday, 21 March 2011

no bore on moor

Be gone with ye week, the weekend was here. Hot footed it back home eastwards in the Citroen bullet to see my mum a la steak and chips. Up in the morning, over to the new Ramsden crib in deepest darkest Newbald. Had a catch up with Yorkshire's most barrel looking spaniel Zack and headed off to the North Yorkshire Moors.

We had a long day planned, so started by going to Scugdale for the barker's crag end.
warmed up on the traverse area on brilliant sandstone, like a west-street lovely, all the best features were out. Steve set off on a new dimensions repeat and dispatched it like a sniper with a shotgun.

'New Dimensions' is a highball V3/4 with a committing top-out that doesn't feel like bouldering. Start on almost perfect 3-finger-drag pockets, pull into a cog shaped iron jug and cross through to bury the right hand into a high side-pull. Feet up and effortlessly guide the left hand up to the nose (Throw!) from here a truly lovely go-again move to the positive little break leaves you matched ready for the slopey mantle top-out you love watching your mates do. I got it 4th go or so, first thing I've done in a while. victory felt foreign, how sad.

no music or edit as my computer is crying some shit about counterfeit software, cry-baby. whatever, check Ramsden's cone head out!!

Steve then got on 'Grandmaster flash' the E5 6b bigger brother, having flashed it when he was less fat he set about on adding a sit start that just makes the route a much more fulfilling experience. I won't add a video as Steve will probably use it in a moors film that's in the pipeline, suffice to say it'll make you drop your shit and head for north yorks badlands.

We then got lost in the moors and the day ended.

Puntered around at 'illstone/Lawrencefield with Billy, Dad and Brad the day after and then won the pub quiz, get in.

stay frosty

I wish I could film a Buoux video to this

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

This season is the reason!

In August when I moved here I was still up in the air, battling with life's big and meaningless questions. Then I started selling chemicals to poor landlords and my summer slipped away. Autumn came and was gone, my massive sigh of disappointment in the working life had cleared the tree's, ready for winter.

Winter was long. Climbing victories became few and far between with a love of the outside the only thing keeping me from packing it in and going back to skating.

Now its spring, It's not as hard to get up for work and its crisp and dry.

First trip out after work, dreams realised. Went to the sud of Burbage with Steve and he took me to some warm-up area I hadn't seen before, a quarried bulge and playground arête. These warm-ups have subsequently now left me feeling confident of myself again and a happy fact, I can only get better from here now.  
Rushing around we trotted off to the left end and desparete, a truly striking line.  As we were robbed of light, Steve was robbed of the tick as he couldn't work out the top and took the now finely tuned plummet to padded firma. It's joyful hellish compression, a committing smears-to-chest move to lay one on for the top hold. Then you're just left a top-out with an exciting consequence, get on it! I know I will! I wandered off up to a chalked up arête nearer the edge and got my cheap thrill, layed off on the steeper side holding the weighted smears in balance and rocking around onto the slab, real nice.

The nights are getting longer

In less poetic terms, we were proper shit with organisation, brought fuck all chalk with us and no brush. Planning to fail man.

see you (with media as well, good lovely easy media)

and a real uplifting video

Thursday, 3 March 2011


when I played sunday league football  back in the dark ages I played for one of the better teams in the area, Cherry Burton FC. As the seasons wore on I got to see some actually really great football, but mostly from the sideline, by the end of the season I was shit hot at distributing oranges rather than kick-ups. I'd go on at left back, fuck it up, then get pulled back off to watch the naturally gifted kids do the business. So its funny now, 10+ years on and those same feelings come back to me.

Took on the some extra work to try and make a dent on the overdraft and ended up with a 12 days straight, I couldn't hack it so bugged out, took a day's leave and went to Rivelin. The week's bad weather broke on that day and I had sun on my back trundling along up through the trees, promising. Warmed up on the usual suspects and went to look at moontan, gopping, went to acid rain. . . . and there I stayed for the rest of the day getting spat off. expert techniques were employed (waiting for shade) and I was still plummeting. Around 25 goes in all. Went to get the bus home, saw a rat go splat in front of me, bad vibes all round.

This week I've been at work but Mikey G, over from fort Bangor, and Steve went out on a classic mission and some great deeds were done (slackers x2 flash, Cool moon HP solo, Ulysses or bust and Committed GU, Brad Pit, White wand, Don). I'm stood on the sideline watching. With football I sacked it and found other things you couldn't be subbed in, this time I feel made of better minerals so its just inspiring not saddening. Can't wait to get out!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Nothing to show for it, but still

Working till 8pm on a Friday night and I'm feeding my own anticipation for the weekend's climbing. This means a dangerous game of cat and mouse with work's IT department trying to find climbing sites that break the firewall. I've sussed it.

Drink and sleep and when the morning comes far too quickly so do Billy, Oaks and Brad. I settle the young ones with that crazy hunter using golden eagles on human planet, a fine fine show that amazes me but does not make me feel guilty for the trappings of modern living like others in the genre have (except the blind Nepalese woman).

where was I? oh, yeah got a fat man's breakfast from Grindleford and went to Froggatt. Aiming for artless, warmed up in the playground and on Joe's slab which is a perfect warm up in mind and body for it's larger brothers that surround it. Decided to do Long John's slab again, the moves felt easier and I felt progression from summer, this should be a done deal obviously but I haven't felt it recently. We moved over to Artless, a striking line and a good height. We opted to highball it in keeping with fashions of our time. I thought a rock-over, however high, would be my choice but its an out and out dyno for a diagnol hold at my height. Oaks got it third go and as he'd not done great slab before the high finish gave him the rush to the head. I tried many many times before oaks told to hang the bottom of the hold when I catch it. This is much easier and I can stab the left foot up onto the first of the ramps, rock-over about fifty percent then shuffle left foot up and lay one on for the seam, fingers digging for a crimp im a flailing mess and spot my landing like an automaton, familiar drop to earth and I'm happy not scared. Its dark at 5.45 pee em now so I'll be back after work next week, anticipation.

Went over to do Parallel Piped and tying on screwed with my head, I can't describe it. Having not tied on since Wales in November It was a foreign feeling, almost as if the placing of gear made the falling more of a possibility, like I was giving myself leeway. I like jumping, I don't like falling. This will take a bit of working out but it ain't so bad I'm fully prepared to try plus y'all don't wanna hear this stuff anyway, I'll wax lyrical when I go back and crush the filthy stinking bum wart. It was such a great day I'm not even the least bit sad its wet and I am sat here typing this having spent the day indoors at a sweaty works.

tick of the day:- Brad and his first E1 on motorcade, my first real  lead in the extremes as well, it's also very very fun teaching him about climbing, the Karl Pilkington-esque wall bred youth who will burn us all off soon enough.

Monday, 31 January 2011

away days

Had two weeks off.
seeing mate go off to Afghanistan

anyway, roaches on Saturday we went to the Nth cloud and again like the skyline it has some of the best grit I've had my hands on. bullet hard, featured and a great colour to boot. Swivel Finger to start and it took me a few goes to stop an unruly foot skitting but felt great on the penultimate go. Had a look at a buttress we'd seen from the road and quickly realised it was the Judge dread/Jules buttress of the consumed 'new shit' fame. Went all 2011 and checked out the routes on my smart phone as we were sans guidebook. Pillar of judgement, E4 5c, on the right arête looked like the one and Steve had the bottle to go for it, basically a solo until after the crux it looked great and I have footage that will make it onto the world wide soon. Next came wings, after a train up prelude and watching Oaks get rescued I decided to leave it but got some dope camera angles of Steve prancing about. Onward to Entropy's Jaw and a quick run up 'Wild Thing' (what a starting move!) had a go at ground up'ing the jaw and it's a weird one as the fall (read: jump) is unpredictable, Steve opted for the traditional and nutted it up while I opted out. Finish at tetris block, the 7a on the end did not get sent by me or oaks but the shapes are some of the best. Next time then.

To the stride on Sunday, chilled easy circuit and then some futile attempts on cave right (I don't really want it, and if you don't there no point in setting off). watched Steve on dry wit and grizzly, painful pain-full rock round thar. Quick jog across to Razor roof, one almighty knuckle scraper later and I had it done finally. Steve said it was due to executuion, a characteristic I admire but am grossly lacking in.

review of the weekend as follows: Staffordshire grit is best, I am a bad boulderer and we need spotter set-up beta for the ledge on art nouveau to prevent it becoming death bivouac.

edit of the clips on the way once my computer stop being all show and no go (bails section shaping up brilliantly)

Thursday, 20 January 2011

bad weather book-ends

. . .or so it seems anyway. We have had crisp dry days all week with clear skies, work has been quite depressing because of this and it does appear to crap out come the weekend with sickening regularity.

Anyway, Monday went to the foundry and got thoroughly trashed. It is interesting how the different style of set-up/route setting there leaves a unique burn out on the body, I feel like I have worked my body there more rather than climbing skills 101 which seems to be what I try at the Works (I could just be skipping past the powerful problems mind). Last night went to the works but it was very busy and I just cherry picked problems I knew I could do, this is good and bad (see Jerry's comments in stone love). Should set up the beastmaker/master soon when Steve brings it over, late-shift week should hopefully become morning beasting week and with this come the spoils of war.

Fingers crossed weather wise for Sunday, hopefully convince a driver that Froggatt is a good shout, get on Artless and Downhill Racer finnally. I wonder how many bold slabs there are left to do until I actually have to get stronger (I think there are hundreds so should be safe). Continuing the highball buzz I've finnally put up a Noaks video of him cruising DIY slab, a problem that has rapidly become a personal nemesis. Noaks and Billy are two of the Hull boys who will most likely make the leap to Sheffield in September, both keen as 'owt and both annoyingly apt at climbing. Ah well, the dog needs a rabbit rart?

and a banger

see you

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

a lesser man

I've been quite ill recently, just like everyone else. Steve had it quite bad as well and he strongly stated a lesser man would have perished. anyway, working week was wack and I had to work Saturday which was a major bum out. Fortunately, the weather didn't look too good/I didn't go mental. Had a bit of rough cough and head clag but felt like climbing was becoming a distant memory so went to the works. Place was busy and saw a few people I met at apt camp site which was cool, climbed like a chump which wasn't. flaked out when I got back in and my housemate plied me with some night nurse. woke up 12.5 hours later feeling 12% better so went out with Lee (beta guides) and his crew. Wandered around the woods at froggatt, saw indoor fisherman for the first time, now there IS a route. Felt too crap on everything, puntered up sunset slab and motorcade which became the highlight. lowlight being a foothold breaking on White Noise F.M, I don't think it affects the route, just looks ugly for now. So all in all this is a bit of a useless post but I am better now and glad I struggled through and got out even at death's door.

c u

Monday, 3 January 2011

curtor redge/rowbar edocks

Had a heavy new years then slid off back home, went to Steve's for the now traditonal mask-a-pony tea and the daily consumed consumption. Sunday 2nd, a new year for fresh starts, or not. Drove out with Mason, sick Laura and Ramadanman heading for gardoms but after hearing it was like the eiger parked at curbar. Messed around the usual bloc and pit, couldn't pull hard so just went up and down that arete for cheap thrills, while people sent/got saw off early doors.

(a happy bunch with Steve on the arete, Alex on the doors. Picture stolen from Beta guides again)
Bit of a plan paddy and we bum rushed it over to baslow for a look at 'hot ziggerty'. Having recently purchased the froggatt bmc guide and seeing a glowing recomendation for this I was excited to have a look. A dark quarried wall, it doesnt look promising, but stacking pads and having a feel of the moves the climb reveals it's quality. Positive holds at a great height with a nice sequence (once spoon fed).

Another night out cut short ending in partridge appreciation and its Monday. Went to Rowtor rocks, very interesting druid set-up complete with caves, arm chair and unfortunately horrible graffiti from less beardy modern scrubbers. Warmed up on chip shop mantel, including a heroic sideways lob from myself (all part of a good honest warm up). I cooled down never to warm and watched Steve climb a few great V8's and Al fight a good fight on bus stop mantel. The yogurt hypnotist is a strange one, essentially the supporting beam to a druid's kitchen, looks great and I look forward to a spring raid. Popped in one of the little dwellings, looking around with my phone light there was a random man just stood in the corner a la blair witch and its fair to say we entered brown town, tourists are mad, he must have been stood there in the dark for ten minutes waiting to scar his kids.

This week
- Finger injury leveled off at mere slight annoyance, ok once taped.
- It's been cold and feels colder now
- ready for 2011 ticklist to be made in between the hate calls at work
- computer back soon, new videos and extended project on the cards
- V7 next weekend

heres an edit and a t'op t'une (this was a shop in the top deck of a shopping center in Hull, bad)

see you